Home » We can’t stop police violence against Black people without economic justice

We can’t stop police violence against Black people without economic justice

by The Grio

(Adobe Stock Images)

Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.

Tyre Nichols may have died at the hands of several Black cops, but the root cause of his death was systemic racism.     

Many will try to say that police brutality is not a systemic issue. They argue that police brutality happens because of a “few bad apples,” but it’s hard for them to admit that the criminal justice system is designed with racist intent. There are those who can admit that maybe we have a racist policing problem — but they believe that if Black people just worked hard enough, they can achieve prosperity at the same levels as white people. There are those who see injustice in both the criminal justice and economic systems in the United States, but they cannot see how they are connected. What’s hard for many to admit is that the entire economic system is stacked against Black communities.   

We must come to a point where we admit that racism isn’t the expressed bigotry of a few individuals. It is systemic. It is pervasive. It is inseparable from every social, economic and political facet of life in the United States.     

The refusal to believe Black people when they speak on their experiences and traumas is one major reason my organization, Prosperity Now, keeps a running scorecard on Black quality of life in every zip code. With clear data, we see the trauma. Black communities are constantly told they must prove their traumas are real, but they are consistently denied the data to do so. This hinders our ability to remove obstacles and carve out pathways in the courts and through policy. We must work aggressively to ensure that the systemic and interconnected nature of racism in the United States is undeniable. And we have the data to prove it.     

We know that white households enjoy five times more…

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